Upcycling With Chalk Paint

chalk paint header

I love a good upcycle. I love the challenge of taking something and turning it into something new.

I love how upcycling can allow me to keep things that might otherwise not continue to be useful or beautiful. Especially things that have sentimental value.

I’ve had my eye on Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for some time but baulked at the price being charged here in Australia. My perfectionist tendencies came to the fore and consequently I didn’t get going on a project as I didn’t want to ‘stuff it up’.

In my roaming around the interwebs, I discovered Websters Chalk Paint Powder. You can add this to any acrylic paint to create a very similar product. Sample packs are available for a really reasonable price, I thought I’d give it a go.

My first chalk paint project is a small ladder that I claimed from my hubby’s parents’ place when the family took on the huge task of cleaning it out after they’d both passed away. I wasn’t sure what I’d use it for but ended up displaying my necklaces on it. The brown finish wasn’t particularly attractive so I thought this might be a good place to start.

Ladder before

A great thing about chalk paint is that you don’t need to strip, sand or do any other fiddly preparation, you just need to clean the surface really well. After a good dust, I cleaned the wood with a solution of eucalyptus oil and warm water, let it dry and then was ready to paint.


I chose a tiny sample pot of Dulux Hog Bristle Quarter Strength, mixed the chalk powder in water and then added it to the paint.

one coat

I ended up doing three coats but I think next time I’ll just do two.


I wasn’t sure whether I wanted a distressed look or not but some of the more experienced chalk painters I’ve met online suggested that as it was going to sit against a white background, a distressed finish would look better.

After experimenting with different grades, I used a little piece of sandpaper to buff the painted ladder back to achieve a slightly worn look. I then sealed it with some beeswax polish I’ve used on other wooden furniture. For bigger pieces I think I’ll invest in some of the L’Essentiel beeswax recommended by many people but this certainly seemed to do the job for now.

Distressed closeup

Bracelets and bangles are on the top rung and rails. I’m contemplating making some s-type hooks for the bangles.

fnished 2

Shorter and longer necklaces on the lower rungs.

finished 1

The end result is a piece in our home that reminds me of my in-laws, a lovely display area for my jewellery which reminds me to wear it as I walk past it all the time and the satisfaction from having created this little beauty from next to nothing. I’ve got so many ideas now for what else I could paint that I’m not sure where to start!

Do you have any upcycled pieces in your home? What do you love about them?

Caz x

3 thoughts on “Upcycling With Chalk Paint

  1. What a great post Caz. I love your finished ladder and I agree it looks the business with the distressed look you chose. I think it’s really beautiful that you have something on display that’s useful but also makes you smile as you remember your in-laws. Thanks for a practical how to post based on something heart felt and creative.

  2. 前しか向かねぇの大島の歌い方っつうかキムタクっぽい

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